With the seemingly overnight ascension of Tyler Stephenson and 2021 NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India, the question must be asked; who is the next Cincinnati Reds prospect to make a dramatic rise up through the farm system?
Ivan Johnson has been one of the Reds best infield prospects since being selected in the fourth-round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
Reds prospect Ivan Johnson will be a fast-riser next season.
Johnson spent most of his 2021 campaign with Low-A Daytona before being promoted to the High-A Dayton. Johnson combined to hit .264/.367/.451 in 79 games last season. Johnson also hammered 10 homers and racked up 41 RBIs.
What Ivan Johnson lacks in power he makes up for with his above average on-base percentage. Additionally, Johnson draws a walk about 12% of the time he stands in the batters' box and only hit into a double-play five times this past season.
Johnson has a slick glove too, turning 29 double-plays and racking up 135 defensive assists. that said, he did commit 13 errors leaving him with a .941 fielding percentage.
Ivan Johnson was one of three Dayton Dragons named to the Arizona Fall League's Fall Star Game. The other two were pitcher James Marinan and outfielder Michael Siani.
Another reason to believe in Johnson is the way his team-first attitude.
In a recent article written by David Laurila via FanGraphs, they discussed how Ivan Johnson had exclusively played the shortstop position in Low-A Daytona.
But when Johnson was promoted to High-A Dayton, he was then on the same squad as 2021 first-round draft pick, Matt McLain, who also plays shortstop.
Naturally, Dayton wanted both players on the diamond at the same time, so Johnson was asked to shift over to second base.
When Johnson was asked after the fact about the move to second, he said “I had no problem with it.” He’s (McLain) a stud, and as long as I get to be in the lineup and swing it, I’m all happy.”
This kind of versatility and team-oriented mentality is great to see from a young ballplayer.
With the 23-year-old Johnson’s ability to play smart baseball, his raw-skillset, and Cincinnati’s proven ability to develop young players, he could be a name that you see quickly floating up the depth charts within the organization.
If all goes according to plan, we are expected to see Ivan Johnson in action at Great American Ball Park by 2023.